Barbecue is traditionally full up with summertime vibes, because long summer days are typically when people do the most barbecuing. But here’s the thing. Why should such a delicious food type be constricted to one quarter of the year? It’s downright silly if you ask us.
Yes, winter time is cold. Nobody feels like sitting around in a deck chair, watching a spit roast for six hours. However barbecued meat, with its char grilled, super satisfying umami flavor, is the perfect thing to devour in colder months. There is only so much soup and stew a person can eat before losing their minds. Trust us on this, barbecue can be used to beat the wintertime blues.
If planned right, wintertime barbecuing doesn’t have to be a freezing affair. Bracing, but we would not be advocating it if it meant hanging around getting frostbite. That is just not worth it, even for barbecue.
If you have a portable grill, try to position it as close to the house as possible but no closer than three meters, so as not to set the place alight. Then, if you have the option of coal or gas, go with gas to reduce the time needed to ready the grill for the meat. The grill will take longer to preheat, so allow extra time for this. And when it comes to prep time, getting everything organised can go a long way to minimizing time outside.
With these strategies, you should be able to barbecue without hazard. Providing there isn’t a blizzard underway, of course.
And if you don't have a grill, or just don’t want to go outside, there are also ways to cook BBQ flavored meats inside. Instant pots, slow cookers and your dear old oven can turn out the most delicious barbecue flavored meats with ease. Char grilling may not be as easy to achieve, but the other flavors can definitely be there.
So, in summary, there is no reason to miss a big steak in the middle of winter, or any of the soul-feeding flavors of barbecue in the time when one may need them most.
20 Carolina Ribs With Red Pepper Sauce
Nothing beats the cold like cayenne, so this list is starting with a spicy rendition of Carolina ribs.
This recipe comprises of seasoning the ribs, making the barbecue sauce, and then grilling them slowly over indirect heat for roughly 4 hours. This is actually ideal for winter time barbecuing, as you do not have to stand over the grill the whole time as with other cuts. You will however have to keep an eye on the grill for safety reasons, and of course go and check that the temperature is right.
After grilling the ribs to perfection, all you need to do is make a couple sides, and you will be set up for a meal and a half.
19 Martha Stewart Grilled Rib Eye Steaks
You just can't miss out the classics. Martha Stewart, and simply seasoned grilled rib-eye steaks. It can be tasty and interesting to dress steaks and barbecue up and down with different sauces and flavors. However at the same time, a truly good cut of meat has flavors which you probably want to be the centerpiece of the meal.
So if you are just in the mood for steak, and steak alone with nothing interfering with the flavor, try out this recipe from Martha Stewart for directions on how to grill a rib-eye steak to impeccability.
18 Jalapeno and Coriander Char Grilled Steaks
Remember what we said about chili firing up the blood in winter? Well we are serious about this philosophy, and couldn't be more fired up to make this jalapeno flavored grilled steak recipe. I mean, what is not to love here. Jalapenos, coriander, and of course grilled steak
This recipe sounds fancy smancy, but it is actually dead simple. All you gotta do is blitz up the buttermilk and jalapeno marinade, soak the steak, and then grill it. Once done, you simply serve it with the leftover buttermilk, jalapeno slices and greens.
Just make sure that you start the recipe more than an hour before you want eat, as the steaks need an hour for marinating.
17 BBQ Lamb Leg
Warning: This recipe needs to be started the day before, for proper marination time.
But as they say good things take time, and this lamb leg is almost guaranteed to be just that. Good. Lamb can be fatty to a certain extent, and grilling it is a great way to allow some of this fat to render off.
Just be aware that you will be needing to check on this leg during the 40 minute cook time, as you do not want to dry it out. Or worse, have the whole grill catch alight from some dripping fat. This can be dangerous, to both the grill, you, and the leg!
16 Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin
This recipe comes from BBQ Viking, and promises some supercharged flavors thank to the combination of bacon and beef tenderloin. To nail the flavor, you will need a charcoal grill and hickory wood chips for smoking.
Other than these requirements this recipe is simple, even though it delivers gourmet style flavors. BBQ Viking also includes steps on how to grill sweet potato, tomato and zucchini along with the tenderloin, so you won’t have to mess around making sides in the kitchen. Hello one stop feast!
Of course if you don’t want to make these sides, you can always swap them out for your own choices.
15 Barbecue Pork Burgers
So far all the love has been going to steak and lamb leg. It's high time to roll in a burger on this list. Because nothing beats a flame grilled burger done right. To take things up one more notch we selected for you this barbecue pork burger recipe to get the juices flowing.
For those who are big on burgers, even the most well cooked renditions can start to smack of routine. Which is where the pork burger comes in. Pork burgers have a flavor all of their own.
What is more grilling burger patties is a fast affair, and cook time on these particular patties only takes 6-10 minutes. Perfect for a midweek pick me up.
14 Carne Asada
If you want grilled steak South American style, then you need to make this carne asada recipe. Carne asada is the term for classic grilled steak, made they way they do it in the cattle kingdom of world. So it is pretty much guaranteed to be good.
The method to making classic carne asada is very similar to how one would prepare and grill many typical steak cuts. The result is a steak that is charred on the exterior and and moist and juicy on the interior. The requirement is that should be tender enough to serve in a top notch taco, or eaten as is, in whole steak form. If you follow this recipe from Serious Eats, you are bound to execute this carne asada with ease.
13 Bacon Paste BBQ Chicken Kebabs
This post is all about not missing the meatiest dishes from the barbecue in winter. And these bacon paste BBQ chicken kebabs definitely tick the box of winter meaty must haves.
This recipe takes chicken kebabs to a whole other level, by blitzing up a barbecue sauce that contains strips of bacon. Then you simply baste the chicken cubes, skewer them, and grill your way to kebab wonderland.
If you are doing some impromptu entertaining during the holidays, this recipe might just be the choice to blow the socks off of your guests. Watch out foodie friends or in-laws, be prepared to be impressed.
12 BBQ Beef, Korea Style
For an international twist on barbecue steak, try your hand at barbecue beef, Korea style. Besides the exotic flavors of this dish, which are bound to impress, you can also choose between grilling the steak outdoors, and doing it in the pan.
This recipe does not state which to do, as both grill and pan will work, so pick your weapon of choice. Just be sure to sear the steak at a high heat, as this seals the exterior and locks in the juices. Timing is key when grilling at high heat, so keep an eagle eye on the clock. Or better, use a stopwatch timer for each side.
11 Barbecued Braised Beef Ribs
Calling all preppers and beer lovers! These beer braised barbecued ribs are an ideal barbecue dish to prep ahead of time. This recipe calls for the ribs to be roasted in beer and seasonings for about two hours.
Once the ribs are cooked to the point of being soft and tender, you simply fire up the barbecue, and grill those babies for a few minutes each side, at which point a nice char should have developed.
This method guarantees super juicy and tender meat, with a smokey char grilled exterior.
The ribs can be pre-cooked in the oven up to 48 hours ahead of barbecuing. An ideal strategy for a grilling sesh where prep time on the day or night will be tight.
10 Slow Cooker Beef Brisket With BBQ Sauce
And for those of you who do not have a grill, and are inspired by these grill gone wild recipes - as promised, we got you covered too. You do not need a grill to enjoy BBQ flavors.
With this recipe you ideally want to start either the day before, or early in the morning, as you will need to slow cook the brisket for 8-10 hours. After this it is simply a matter of popping the brisket into the oven to roast (with basting) for 15 minutes or until browning occurs.
This is another recipe where you can do the prep cooking on the cut up to 3 days ahead of time.
9 Spice-Marinated and Grilled Lamb Chops
If you are somebody who gets tired of classic barbecue flavors, and wants to spice things up, then these lamb chops are a great recipe to try your hand at.
This recipe calls for the chops to be marinated for at least 2 hours in a mouthwatering combination of flavors including fenugreek, mango powder, chili, garlic, lime juice, ginger, mustard oil and nutmeg. Hello taste explosion!
After marinating, all you need to do is fire up the grill, and barbecue the chops on a medium flame to ensure good fat rendering.
Top tip: Plan a store trip ahead of making this recipe, as you will probably need to sniff out the less common place ingredients such as the mango powder.
8 Grilled BBQ Chicken Wings
This finger licking wing recipe combines the power of both the slow cooker and the grill.
First up, this recipe places the chicken wings with a tangy sweet mix of barbecue sauce, honey, apple cider vinegar and smoked paprika in the slow cooker. Depending on which slow cooker heat setting one selects, you then need to cook the wings in the sauce for up to 5 hours.
At this point, the wings can go onto the grill where they develop grill marks and are basted once more in the sauce.
These wings are another barbecue recipe which is super quick on the grill, while the slow cooker prep cooking can be done the day before, to ensure an easy and relaxing barbecue.
7 The Insanity Burger
We couldn't make a list of meaty barbecue foods you can't afford to miss out on in winter, and not include this burger.
Number one, it is a Jamie Oliver recipe, so we trust him 100% that it must be "bloody" delicious. Number two, it's called the Insanity Burger.
And number three, in this recipe Jamie walks us through the steps to making his Insanity Burger with such clear and precise directions, that one is almost guaranteed to nail the dish.
One of the flavoring techniques of this burger that we really love is the brushing of the burgers with Tabasco chipotle sauce and mustard while it is grilling. In Jamie Oliver's words, this helps to build an "incredible gnarly layer of seasoning."
6 Hawaiian Chicken Bacon Pineapple Kebabs
If the winter blues are really bumming you out, and you just want an injection of sunshine and warmth into your psyche, then consider this recipe for Hawaiian style chicken, bacon and pineapple kebabs.
Kebabs are an easy barbecue dish to prepare, all you have to do it assemble and cut the ingredients, skewer the pieces, and in the case of this recipe, make a sauce. And then you are ready to grill!
Combining a sauce with kebabs, and basting them with it like in this recipe, takes them up to another level. It adds flavor, locks in the juiciness of the meat, and gives the kebabs that sticky, lick you fingers factor which is so iconic of barbecue foods.
5 Slow Cooker Peachy Baby Back Ribs
This recipe for slow cooker peach flavored baby back ribs is another winter warmer to infuse your senses with sweet and spicy comfort.
This is a slow cooker recipe, and requires no use of the grill or oven. You simply slow cook the ribs for approximately 6 hours, and then use the excess liquid along with the peaches, jalapeno, and additional seasoning to make a reduced sauce. Served together, the ribs and the barbecue sauce make for a sweet, sticky and spicy indoors BBQ ribs rendition.
If you have never made ribs in your slow cooker before, we think now is about the right time to start.
4 Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is another barbecue flavored meaty delight which you can make without a barbecue.
What we love about this recipe is that there are directions for using an instant pot, and both a slow cooker and a pressure cooker. Most of us who love food and cooking will have at least one of these, so there is just no excuse to not make this unctuous pulled pork.
Pulled pork is extremely versatile in that you can serve it in tacos, wraps, sandwiches and on burger buns. We get the feeling that to avoid regrets, one should probably make a double batch of the stuff...
3 Jerk Chicken
If nothing on this list has fired up your blood yet, this jerk chicken may do just that. Jerk chicken is a classic Caribbean style barbecue item, and if made authentically has a real kick to it.
This recipe promises a spicy crisp, succulent result, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone wishing to try out jerk chicken on the grill.
The method is simple, and involves marinating the chicken overnight in the jerk spices, and when you are ready, grilling the pieces at a high heat initially, and then slow grilling them for a further 20 minutes or so.
2 Cola BBQ Ribs
We couldn't leave you without a recipe for cola barbecue ribs. In case you did not know, cola makes a great marinade. There is something in cola (probably one or more of those potentially life shortening chemicals) which is great at breaking down connective tissue in meat.
And what is more, the cola gives meat a sweet flavor that caramelizes on the barbecue. This is ideal for ribs.
For this recipe, there is no marinating time required. You simply baste the ribs in the cola sauce, and cook them on the grill in foil. Once soft, the foil comes off they get a dose of high heat on the grill to crisp and char the exterior.
1 Cajun Picanha
If you are planning on throwing a party and want to impress, this cajun picanha recipe may be just what you need. Picanha is another term for rump cap, or top sirloin, and its shape means that you can grill the cut whole, and be able to get rare to well done all at once.
For this recipe, there is no marinating required, you simply rub the cut with the seasoning ingredients, and then sear and slow cook it on the grill.
Top tip: To guarantee success with this cut and recipe, go out get yourself one of those chef meat thermometers so that you can measure the temperature inside the cut. If you are big on meat and getting its cook spot on, then one of these will probably serve you well in the future.